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No party for old men: BJP veterans LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi absent from Narendra Modi's cabinet

Monday, 26 May 2014 - 1:42pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA Webdesk
  • lk-advani-and-murli-manohar-joshi Is this end of LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi in Indian politics

This seems to be the beginning of the end of the political careers of long serving leaders LK Advani and Murli Manohar of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as they have reportedly not been given any cabinet portfolio.

While several other top BJP leaders have found a place in Modi's new government there is no mention of the old timers having key roles in the new government.

Ever since the exit polls, BJP leaders and leaders from NDA alliance been in the run to get cabinet berths in Modi's ministry.​ After parley meetings that was conducted for several days many of the BJP leaders are awaiting to be handed out coveted cabinet berths. According to reports, Sushma Swaraj would get the  Ministry of External Affairs, Arun Jaitley to take over the Finance portfolio. Rajnath Singh, Modi's close aide, will be next Minister of Home Affairs, and Ravi Shankar Prasad will take responsibility of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. (Read)

Both Advani and Joshi, who had been reportedly eyeing key positions in the new government have however been left out from ministerial positions. 

Advani had been after the Lok Sabha Speaker position which in most likelihood will go to Sumitra Mahajan. Mahajan is a senior BJP leader and eight-time MP from Indore. She also happens to be the longest serving woman parliamentarian.

Advani and Joshi had expressed their opposition to Modi's rise to the top as the PM nominee from the BJP before the election. 

Immediately after Modi's PM candidature was announced there was a sub-group within the BJP that was unhappy with Modi 's selection as the man to lead them into the election. (Read)

Joshi was a sitting Lok Sabha MP from Varanasi who had won the seat in 2009 Lok Sabha election. In March when it became clear that Modi was keen to fight the election from Varanasi with the RSS backing him, the BJP unit there was divided into two aggressive factions one supporting Modi and the other Joshi.

Joshi had to later grudgingly let go or rather was effectively weeded out.

Even then he remained dismissive of the whole Modi-wave and maintained that it the so-called 'wave' was more a representation of following for the party than the individual. 

However after the PM designate led the BJP a historic victory both were scurrying towards him to secure coveted positions in the new government.

As soon as the exit polls were announced, LK Advani with his close aid Sushma Swaraj met with Modi and other top leaders. It was in those meetings when Advani had expressed his desire to be the neat Lok Sabha Speaker.

However the last moment discussions with Modi turned futile as Advani and Joshi are left empty handed and nowhere to go.

Advani and Joshi both share a common alma mater with Narendra Modi, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). However the RSS stood firmly behind Modi when he made it very clear that his ministry will not have anybody over 75 years of age. The RSS had supposedly asked both the leaders to not press for key ministerial and officical responsibilities.

If Modi sticks to his promises,this is probably the end game for both Advani and Joshi, the grand old patriarchs of the BJP.

(With agency inputs)




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